Two left parties have called a half-day shutdown for Tuesday in Dhaka in protest against the latest gas price hike, terming it irrational.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (Basad) announced the general strike in a joint statement on Friday.
CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim, Secretary General Syed Abu Zafar Ahmed and Basad Secretary General Khalequzzaman signed the statement.
They said that the decision to hike gas prices had not been in the best interest of the people and demanded that the decision be scrapped.
The supporters of CPB and Basad are also involved in the movement against the 1,320MW Rampal power plant.
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Activists of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (Basad) bring out a rally on Friday, 24.02.2017; to protest household gas price hike announced by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday, 24.10.2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribube
Earlier, during the public hearing held on gas price hike proposals, the government had failed to show any reasonable argument in favour of the increase, they said, alleging that people of many areas in Dhaka were facing gas crisis every day.
On Thursday, the energy regulator announced increasing gas prices for all sectors in two phases.
Starting from March, the monthly gas bill for single burner stoves will be Tk750, which is currently Tk600. From June 1, it will be Tk900. The bill for the double burner will be Tk800 from March 1 and Tk950 from June 1.
Gas prices were last raised in September 2015.
Also Read -- Tk300 hike in household gas prices in two phases
Meanwhile, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid Khan Bipu Friday said that the government would adjust the power prices in accordance with the gas price.
He said that the government’s aim was to increase the use of LP gas and keep its price stable. “We want to phase out gas connection to households in phases.”
Mass sit-in announced
On the other hand, the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Power and Ports has declared a mass sit-in for two hours for Saturday protesting against the price hike of gas and demanding cancellation of the Rampal coal power plant near the Sundarbans.
The government is set to begin the construction of the main plant next month, disregarding outcry from environmentalists, and local and international groups including Unesco and Ramsar.